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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Trigger warning: this article discusses domestic violence and sexual assault

This October you may see people wearing costumes, but you may also see people wearing purple. The purple ribbon represents Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), a time to bring awareness to the national issue of domestic violence and promote the safety and empowerment of survivors.

Beginning as the “Day of Unity” in October 1981, DVAM has evolved into a nationally recognized campaign headed by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) and supported by millions, including celebrities, politicians, and athletes. DVAM is meant to educate people on exactly what domestic violence is and how to reach out to victims with help and resources, letting them know they are not alone.

The Statistics

  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men nationwide have been victims of severe domestic violence in their lifetime

  • In a typical day more than 20,000 phone calls are placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide

  • Women between the ages of 18-24 (college age) are those most commonly abused by an intimate partner

Source: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

These statistics speak for themselves. There’s no question that this is a serious issue that is plaguing our country. In the past few years the severity of domestic violence and sexual harassment in the United States has been brought to light in many ways. Through various campaigns such as “It’s On Us” and productions such as “The Hunting Ground”, people are more aware of the issue than ever before. You may have heard of Lady Gaga’s song “Til It Happens To You” (featured in the “Hunting Ground”), which she and Diane Warren wrote to raise awareness of campus sexual assault. Recently Hozier teamed up with Saoirse Ronan to create “Cherry Wine” and the #FaceUpToDomesticViolence campaign, which benefits domestic violence organizations such as the NCADV. President Obama even gave a Presidential Proclamation of Domestic Violence Awareness Month on September 30:

“During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we shine a light on this violation of the basic human right to be free from violence and abuse, pledge to ensure every victim of domestic violence knows they are not alone, and foster supportive communities that help survivors seek justice and enjoy full and healthy lives.”

-President Barack Obama (Read full proclamation here)

So what does Domestic Violence Awareness Month mean to you? For me it reminds us that domestic violence affects us all, and all of us need to take a part in stopping it. There are so many ways to get involved and have an impact, whether through volunteering with a local advocacy center, attending events held by local or national organizations, or simply educating yourself on the signs and causes of domestic violence and sharing that information with others.

Below you will find links to resources to find help, get involved, and get educated about domestic violence. This month of awareness reminds us that Love Shouldn’t Hurt, and that It’s On Us to Face Up to Domestic Violence. This October don’t just wear a costume, wear purple and join the fight to end domestic violence.

Local Resources and Organizations

UC Davis services:

Confidential counseling and advice services:

(866) 515-0155


To learn about UC Davis’s policies on sexual assault:

UC Davis Policy

Title IX Info

Off-Campus services:

Visit Empower Yolo’s website about how to get involved as a volunteer or more information about the services they provide.

Empower Yolo’s 24/7 Crisis Hotline: (530) 662-1133

For more information about national domestic violence campaigns, statistics, what domestic violence is and how to detect it, donating, events, and volunteering, go to the NCADV website.

Nikki is a senior at UC Davis, majoring in Community and Regional Development with a minor in Professional Writing. Apart from her classes, she spends her time walking backwards as a campus tour guide, advising future travelers at the UC Davis Study Abroad office, and fighting against domestic violence as an active member of Alpha Chi Omega. You can catch her sipping iced coffee at the CoHo, spending time with friends in the quad, or exploring the endless restaurants in downtown Davis.
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